Search form

MOVIE REVIEW: The Mechanic

A fun film, but don't try to analyze the plot

The Mechanic

The Mechanic

  • The Mechanic
  • Jason Stratham as Arthur Bishop in "The Mechanic."
  • The Mechanic
  • Ben Foster as Steve McKenna in "The Mechanic."
  • Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop in "The Mechanic."
  • Jason Statham as Arthur Bishop in "The Mechanic."
View Full Gallery »

What is it with Jason Statham? He keeps playing these badass characters, and playing them bloody brilliant – in scripts that are poorly written.

The original movie starred Charles Bronson and came out in the early 70s. I’m guessing this is an improvement on that.

Now, I like that Statham often has Jaguar XKE’s in his movies. There were lots of them in The Bank Job and there’s one he’s constantly working on in this.

But, that’s not the kind of mechanic he is. The title refers to the way he assassinates people. Oh, don’t worry. It’s all folks that deserve to die - child molesters, drug dealers, arms dealers, any kind of “dealer.”

I loved seeing Donald Sutherland roll up in a wheelchair, with lots of white hair slicked back. He’s of course, the boss. The only one Statham trusts. When Sutherland ends up dead, Statham takes it upon himself to befriend his troubled son, played by Ben Foster.

I loved Foster as the heavy in 3:10 to Yuma, and in the underrated war film The Messenger from a few years ago. He’s not bad in this, but again, the script gives him lots of lame things to say.

There’s a great scene when he has problems dispensing of his first victim – who is twice his size and weight. It would’ve helped if he actually listened to the instructions he was given, but he’s a loose cannon (aren’t they always?)

The action sequences are a lot of fun and well filmed. Because of the various fight scenes and car chases, the movie was better than I expected. That’s still not a ringing endorsement. The writing is sloppy, and it’s hard for me to overlook that. And there’s just not much depth in these characters.

Simon West directed this – he gave us Con Air. This movie isn’t as silly as that, but you get the drift.

Just like my complaint with The Rite (both pictures opening this weekend), we’ve seen all this before. Notes in cars that say “If you’re reading this, you’re dead,” right before they explode; shooting a gas tank so a car explodes; dangling down the side of a building and breaking a window with your feet to escape, etc etc etc.

This is the type of movie that critics pan and moviegoers love. It makes people hate critics for “not liking anything.”

Hey – I liked The Expendibles with Statham and all those action stars. I loved Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. It’s just hard for me to get behind a story when, if someone has a gun pointed at somebody and they could simply explain the misunderstanding and don’t …even if it’s a movie that gets lots of Oscar nominations like Mystic River. I liked that film, but wondered why Tim Robbins didn’t just explain himself to Sean Penn and avoid being killed.

There’s also that usual thing in action movies – the characters taking a job even after saying “this is too dangerous” or they have to kill the woman they love. They never just tell their boss “Yeah, I’m going to have to pass on this one.”

Oh, and don’t even get me started on my action movie pet peeve #112. That’s when a person has their enemy dead or dying, and feels they need to unload their machine gun into them, not taking into account that bullets ricochet. In this, it’s Foster and Statham together, shooting a guy 100 times as he’s lying two feet in front of them.

Near the end of the movie, there’s a scene at a gas station. A woman next to me said to her friend, “Where the hell is gas $2.69?”

I’m guessing to her, that was the only unrealistic thing about the movie. And I’m guessing for that reason, most people out there will enjoy this movie.

When the credits rolled, I was waiting for something on the screen to tell me “No Jaguars were hurt during the filming of this.”

You’ll have a fun time, if you don’t analyze the horrible plot.

I can’t go higher than a D+ on this.